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Postgraduate Workshop: Getting a Job in Academia and Beyond

Navigate the post-PhD job application and interview process
This two-day workshop is designed to help higher degree research students think strategically about how to approach the job application process and what you can do to gain a competitive edge at interview – in academia and beyond.

Who: Postgraduate research students with interests in Southeast Asia and/or China
When: 09:30-16:30, Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February 2020
Where: Teachers' College Room 427, Old Teachers' College Building, Manning Rd, The University of Sydney

Each year in Australia, over 10,000 postgraduate research students complete their studies and begin the daunting task of looking for employment. Someday it will be your turn – but how prepared are you to enter the job market? This workshop is designed to help higher degree research students:

  • Understand the academic and non-academic pathways available to you post-PhD;
  • Think strategically about how to approach the job application process;
  • Develop a compelling job application; and
  • Gain a competitive edge at interview.

The University of Sydney will bring together research students from Australia to participate in a two-day postgraduate workshop exploring these issues and more. This workshop is open to all postgraduate members of SSEAC and/or the China Studies Centre. We encourage participation from a diverse range of institutions, geographical focuses and disciplinary backgrounds.

This workshop is jointly hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and the China Studies Centre

Applications are now closed.


Workshop information

Day one: Applying for jobs

Time Session Speakers
09:30-09:45 Registration  
09:45-11.00 Session One: Applying for a job in academia
  • Dr Olivier Krischer
  • Dr Natali Pearson
11:00-11:30 Morning tea  
  • Session Two: Planning for a non-academic career
  • Dr Tim Dean
  • Dr Catherine Dorey
  • Ms Merriden Varrall
12:30-13:30 Lunch  
13:30-14:30 Session Three: Developing your research presentation and teaching philosophy
  • Dr Rosemary Grey
14:30-15:00 Afternoon tea  
  • Session Four: Prepating for interview
  • Associate Professor Novi Djenar
  • Associate Professor Sonja van Wichelen
16:00-16:30 Session Five: Debrief and wrap-up
  • Dr Natali Pearson

Day two: Preparing for interview

Time Session Speakers
09:30-09:45 Registration  
09:45-11.00 Session Six: Academic job markets around the world 
  • Dr Petr Matous
  • Dr Matthew Shores
  • Dr Sophie Webber
11:00-11:30 Morning tea  
11:30-12:30 Session Seven: Shortlisting of applicants Students and recruitment panel
12:30-13:30 Lunch  
13:30-15:00 Session Eight: Mock interviews and feedback
  • Dr Holly High
  • Ms Li Ozinga
  • Professor Rita Shackel
15:00-15:30 Afternoon tea  
15:30-16:00 Session Nine: Announcement of successful applicant; wrap-up
  • Dr Natali Pearson

- To attend this workshop, you are required to apply for a “fake” (but realistic) academic position as a postdoctoral research associate with the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. You will need to submit a cover letter, CV and statement of claims against selection criteria.

- This is a two-day workshop. Applicants must be available to attend on both days.

- Day one will position you to apply for a job within academia, and will also discuss alternative pathways outside academia.

- Day two will centre around a mock interview process, with students working in groups to shortlist each other’s applications. The top-ranked candidates will proceed to interview. This mock interview will be conducted by a panel of academic experts during the workshop in front of all students.

- Following the interview, the candidate will be asked to rejoin their peers while the interview panel discusses the applicant’s interview. This public interview and feedback process is a valuable and useful experience, and will be conducted professionally and respectfully. It is a rare opportunity to receive direct and constructive feedback, to gain insights into the interview process, and to get honest feedback on what interview panels are looking for.

- For this program, you will be assessed on the quality of your application – that is, the focus will be on the strength of your application, not the applicant themselves. This ensures that candidates at a later stage of their PhD are not unfairly advantaged for the purposes of this mock recruitment processes.

Applications are now closed.

Please email any queries about the event and the application process to

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